Thursday, June 18, 2015

What Might've Been: Judge Roy Bean (1955)

Though the lead character was, in fact, a real person, Judge Roy Bean, a one-year syndicated series, painted a cleaner picture of Bean than in real life.

Bean (Edgar Buchanan) was not only the Justice of the Peace in Langtry, Texas, but a shopkeeper (in real life a bartender), who operated his courtroom in his general store. Recast as a hero for the sake of a family-friendly audience, Bean solved crimes and used his wits to catch the crooks.

Nearly a decade later, Buchanan would resurface as Uncle Joe Carson on Petticoat Junction (1963-70), and did one more Western, co-starring with Glenn Ford in Cade's County (1971-2). Seeing him as Bean, you wouldn't know it was the same man who made viewers laugh during the 60's.

Internet Archive serves up "Deliver The Body". Producer Russell Hayden was a recurring regular on the show, and would replace Bean the next season with 26 Men. Funny thing. Peter Piech is credited as an executive producer. Piech is more famous in the same capacity working for Jay Ward (i.e. Rocky & His Friends) a few years later.

Rating: B.

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